Economy

Texas families, doctors file lawsuit challenging ban on gender transition treatments

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A group of Texas families of transgender youth, as well as doctors who treat them, have filed a lawsuit attempting to block the state’s law banning gender transition care for minors. 

The Texas lawsuit, which was filed Wednesday, argues that SB 14 violates parental rights and discriminates against transgender teenagers. The law was signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott last month and is set to take effect Sept. 1.

SB 14 would prohibit transgender minors from accessing hormone therapies, puberty blockers and transition surgeries. Children who have already received this treatment must be weaned off.

The lawsuit argues that the law will have damaging consequences for transgender teenagers unable to receive the gender transition treatment recommended by their parents and physicians.

‘As a father, my primary goal is to ensure that Luna is safe, taken care of, and has everything she needs to thrive,’ one plaintiff, the father of a transgender 12-year-old girl, said in the lawsuit. ‘Because of recent political attacks against transgender Texans, and [the law] SB 14 in particular, my ability to be a great dad for my kid has become much more difficult.’

The lawsuit alleges that many transgender teenagers will ‘face the whiplash of losing their necessary medical treatment and experiencing unwanted and unbearable changes to their body.’

‘I am gravely concerned about my patients’ ability to survive, much less thrive, if SB 14 takes effect,’ plaintiff Richard Ogden Roberts, a doctor, said on behalf of himself and his patients.

Roberts said in the lawsuit he and his colleagues are concerned they will be required to choose between upholding their medical oaths or following the new law.

At least 20 GOP-led states have adopted laws to ban some gender transition care for minors. But half of those laws have not taken effect because they were only recently passed or because enforcement has been put on hold by the courts in Arkansas, Indiana and Kentucky. In June, a judge blocked Tennessee’s ban from taking effect, but an appeals court this month said it can be enforced, at least for now.

Lawsuits have been filed in other states as well in efforts to block their bans on gender transition treatment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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